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The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) has announced today that they are requiring all of their members to adopt an email authentication mechanism. While they are not endorsing one method over another, DMA members must put some email authentication mechanism in place, although today’s announcement by the DMA did not specify a timeline.
In announcing the new requirement, which followed a vote today by the DMA’s board of directors on the matter, DMA president and CEO John A. Greco, Jr. said “E-mail authentication protects the integrity of responsible marketers’ brands and improves the likelihood that legitimate e-mail – whether it is a marketing offer, airline ticket confirmation, or a financial statement — gets through to its intended recipient. Consumers can have more confidence they are getting a legitimate, valid offer from a trusted source. Marketers get fewer false positives, increased deliverability and better protection for their brands against illegal use. It’s a win-win for everybody.”
There are several methods of email authentication available right now, including SPF, DomainKeys, and Microsoft’s Sender I.D. They all work on one level or another, but none are without downsides and issues (which is, of course, why no email industry has been able to agree on any one standard). The DMA’s take on it, however, is that “there are several interoperable, inexpensive and easy to implement solutions available on the market today,” which shows a stunning lack of cluefulness on the part of the DMA, although that’s really no big surprise.
Still, “We believe that e-mail can deliver great value for consumers and more dollars for the U.S. and global economies if scams proliferated through spam and phishing/spoofing can be reduced or eliminated,” said Louis Mastria, vice president, interactive & emerging media, DMA.
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